Over the years, ASSOS has earned a strong reputation for making some of the best kits available, especially the most essential piece of apparel of all: black bib shorts. Even after decades of high praise, the Swiss brand is still constantly toiling away to improve its products. So how does the latest generation bib short hold up against the reputation? We got our hands on the Equipe RS Bib Shorts S9 to find out.
This kit represents ASSOS’s latest generation high performance apparel, designed specifically for the demands of racing. The Equipe RS Bib Shorts S9 incorporate several tricks to keep the chamois in place for maximum comfort, even among all the constant repositioning on the saddle and standing out of the saddle that comes with full-tilt riding. The shorts feature just two panels, the primary one of which, a “buterfly panel,” wraps around the legs and meets in the rear, framing the chamois in place. To further hold the chamois in place, the bib straps extend further down the back—making them visible below the jersey—supporting the chamois as you shift weight between the left and right. ASSOS calls this feature, which mimics a race car’s anti-sway bar, a rollBar.
Speaking of the straps, they differ between the front and the back. The rear features a single piece of material folded over itself, forming an A-frame. It limits the amount of stretch in the back to provide more support to the chamois. In the front, the anti-bacterial straps provide more stretch for a comfortable fit.
Made with superAir microShock foam with a 3D waffle structure, The Equipe RS Bib Shorts S9 also feature ASSOS’s most streamlined chamois ever. To keep things cool, ASSOS has also incorporated small holes into the front of the chamois for further breathability.
The bibs are made from a patented Type.441 textile, which is both compressive and soft while also providing UPF 50+ protection. This compressive material allows ASSOS to forge any leg grippers, which can be a source of discomfort on other bibs.
All that technology and research and development come with a steep price tag of $260. So how do they perform?
ASSOS has rightly earned a reputation for fantastic, bar-setting bibs. The Equipe RS Bib Shorts S9 continue that storied reputation. The shorts perfectly balance compression and stretch, offering a fit that has no pressure points or discomfort to be found—not even at the leg grippers or around the waist, two common sources of trouble with bibs.
The straps are likewise super comfortable and soft against the skin, with the right amount of stretch throughout. We especially like the extra support the straps provide in the back. The straps are also quite easy to put on, resisting any twisting. And the chamois, perhaps the most crucial part of any pair of bib shorts, provides ample comfort. Putting them on for the first ride after a week off the bike, there were absolutely no hot spots to speak of. All the effort ASSOS put into stabilizing the chamois has paid off as well. It stays remarkably anchored in one spot, something we hadn’t paid much attention to with other shorts before, but something that we now can’t not notice.
Again, the price tag is steep, but if you are going to splurge on one piece of apparel, this is the one to do it on. The comfort really is that high.
$260 (bibs); 4 color options; us.assos.com